Eden Winters Steps out of her Comfort Zone

As much as I love shifters or friends-to-lovers or cop/fire rescue themed stories … it would get a bit tiring to read the same thing over and over. Most readers will agree that variety is key to keeping stories interesting. And if that’s important to us, then it stands to reason that authors feel the same when creating world after world.

Here is Eden Winters to talk about how stretching her comfort zone inspires something no matter what you’re in the mood for.

The Comfort Zone

I’ve been told that sometimes writers have a tendency to carve out a niche and stay there. We’re happy, our editors are happy, the publisher is happy, and the reader is happy. So, why change?

There’s an old saying, “What doesn’t grow dies.” The same can be said of creativity. If we stand still, allow our imagination to stagnate, we may be content for a time, but we’ll never reach our full potential.

Years ago I didn’t read M/M romance. As a moderator on a fan fiction site, I asked that any works of that genre requiring moderation go to another, for I thought I’d be uncomfortable reading such a story. Then one day curiosity took over. I stepped out of my comfort zone—and I fell in love with m/m romance. A few months later, a friend suggested we each try our hand at writing a m/m novel. What? Me write a novel? With sex scenes and everything? Fanfic was one thing; sending a work to a publisher, and possibly facing rejection, was another entirely. Once more I stepped out of my comfort zone, writing a novel to give away to readers as a gift, for the end result of my efforts was too personal to sell. (Enjoy a full length novel HERE and it’s sequel HERE.)

More novels came afterward.

I settled into angst romance, tales of average men overcoming their obstacles to fall in love, be they pitted against external forces, as in The Angel of 13th Street, or dealing with internal struggles, such as The Wish and Fallen Angel, or even overcoming physical setbacks, such as in The Telling. Though I love angst and gained a following, something seemed missing.

After spending so much time writing emotionally charged fiction, my muse demanded that I lighten the mood. I stepped out of the comfort zone again to create a tale of tongue-in-cheek dating site misadventures for The Match Before Christmas, having no idea I’d be capable of humor. Some readers followed along, some didn’t, and some brand new readers discovered my work through the novella and its sequels, Fanning the Flames, and A Lie I Can Live With. I also learned a valuable lesson: readers don’t insist on washboard abs and model looks for a romantic hero, as shown both in the novellas and light-hearted novel, Settling the Score.

Then someone mentioned shifters. I’d written shifters back in my fanfic days, but how about something to publish? At the time I’d gotten heavy into angst again, so I tried my hand at farce, crafting Galen and the Forest Lord. Okay, I wrote silly, I wrote shifter. Now what?

Well, the next time I stepped out on a limb I created a snarky, mouthy, ex-drug trafficker who doesn’t have much going for him in the looks department. Who knew writing such an ill-tempered protagonist could be so much fun? The trouble is, now Lucky Lucklighter has taken over my life, and I’m currently writing a sequel to Diversion.

My recently submitted manuscript, Naked Tails, started out to be another humorous shifter novel, for how could possum shifters not be funny? Once more I took a chance, and although the overtone is light, the novel has many serious elements.

Will every reader like every book? No. Is there something in my work for everyone? I certainly strive to achieve that goal, and challenging myself as a writer keeps me moving forward. How next will I push my own boundaries? I’m thinking…epic fantasy.

Eden Winters can be found here: WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | TORQUERE

Eden is offering up an e-book from her backlist. Winner has choice of: The Angel of 13th Street, Fallen Angel (the sequel to The Angel of 13th Street), Diversion, or Settling the Score.

To enter, comment below about how big or small your own comfort zone is.

Open until Thursday, August 30th at 11:59 pm (PST). Winner will be selected and notified on Friday.

17 thoughts on “Eden Winters Steps out of her Comfort Zone

  1. yganoe August 28, 2012 / 5:33 am

    My comfort zone is pretty big…not too much bothers nor embarrasses me.

  2. Giselle August 28, 2012 / 6:45 am

    Very interesting post! My comfort zone I guess is pretty small in some ways. Hate people knowing too mush about me.

  3. Charlie Cochet August 28, 2012 / 11:57 am

    Hi Eden! I’m with you on taking chances and writing out of your comfort zone. My own is pretty big, though as a new writer I’ve barely begun to scratch the surface, though I have already published a short shifter story that takes place in the 1930s, Lol, so I think I’m getting there. You never know until you give something a try, and if it doesn’t work, well at least you know and can move onto something else. Of course, you know how I feel about your writing, so I’m happy to read anything you put out there, be it fellas with tarnished pasts or possum shifter! 😀

  4. andnoo August 28, 2012 / 1:51 pm

    I think my comfort zone is expanding all the time. A year or two ago I would have been able to list the things I’m not comfortable reading. Right now I’m only coming up with one thing which I won’t read and that’s books tagged as Christian.

  5. Sarah S August 28, 2012 / 2:26 pm

    I have a pretty small comfort zone and have to force myself out of it. And it’s always worth it 😀

    Sarah S


  6. Jbst August 28, 2012 / 2:27 pm

    I think my comfort zone is average, and depends on what area that is being covered.

  7. Lynda August 28, 2012 / 6:10 pm

    *hugs* For going outside your comfort zone, you are accomplishing amazing things! Thank you for the amazing stories!

  8. Barbra August 28, 2012 / 6:12 pm

    My comfort zone is TINY!! I have to be forced, literally, to do things outside of my comfort zone. Guess what? In almost every case I’ve been pleasantly surprised. 🙂

  9. Trix August 28, 2012 / 6:41 pm

    Lucky has taken over MY head, too (DIVERSION is my favorite of 2012 so far), so don’t fret! I guess my comfort zone varies; on the one hand, I’m not offended by very much (and what does offend me is probably different from what offends most). On the other hand, I’m not great about putting myself in physical or social risk, so I probably seem more skittish than some in that way.


  10. arella3173 August 28, 2012 / 8:23 pm

    Hm, I think I have a bigger than average comfort zone….. but every now and then stuff I am usually ok with really bothers me and I get easily uncomfortable for the whole day. But I guess those are just the bad days everyone gets you know? lol….

    so… yeah, My comfort zone is big. Not by much but enough to let me enjoy most things I come across. 🙂

    thank you for the contest!!


  11. chellebe August 28, 2012 / 10:13 pm

    Depends…with people I am shy at first so my comfort zone is fairly small…with other things its kinda big. Just like everybody, I guess I should try to push my boundaries more than I do *shrug* but then the familiar beckons and I answer swiftly 🙂

  12. Renee August 28, 2012 / 11:51 pm

    mmmm… I guess it all depends on what the new thing your trying is. I am a bit, ok a lot, pedantic about somethings but others are go with the or sure i’ll try that.
    I would totally ready your epic fantasy 🙂

  13. Shirley Frances August 30, 2012 / 12:10 pm

    My comfort zone has expanded-from very shy to socializing mostly with those who share my interests – books and photography. Last year I discovered Goodreads, then MM Romance and I loved it. So much so that I started reviewing just so that other people get to enjoy it too. For photography, I’ve been meeting locally with a group for photo walks and get togethers. 😉


  14. Amazon Doc August 30, 2012 / 1:45 pm

    Comfort Zones — well, it depends. In terms of sharing personal info, if I am talking to a person I’ll never see again, my comfort zone can actually quite large. But if I’m talking to someone who will be around later on, I become a very private person.

    In terms of reading, my comfort zone is pretty big. I’ll try nearly anything once. In terms of trying new things out in Real Life….well….pretty small, I guess. I’m not all that adventurous!

  15. mantasticfiction August 31, 2012 / 11:33 am

    Congratulations Amazon Doc … you won an e-book from Eden Winters. I will be contacting you directly about claiming your prize.

  16. chickie434 August 31, 2012 / 11:38 am

    My comfort zone’s pretty big. I’m pretty laid back, so not much is off limits. I can make a friend with pretty much anyone. I’m open to trying everything at least once.


  17. Mara Ismine September 2, 2012 / 2:29 am

    I’m glad you are willing to fight your comfort zone boundaries – we get some wonderful stories to read when you do.

    My comfort zone is a very variable thing, but I am always caught by ther element of “can I?” and I do a lot of things just to see if I can. I might regret some of them and never want to do that ever again, but at least I did it. These aren’t usually big things just little everyday things like eating sushi or going to a writers conference, but sometimes they seem very big to me.

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